Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. and ARC Entertainment today announced they have entered into partnership to distribute several theatrical programs by the end of 2011. The agreement follows the two companies’ successful cooperation on John Carpenter’s The Ward (pictured) and Stephen K. Bannon’s Sarah Palin documentary, The Undefeated.

Chris McGurk, chairman and CEO of Cinedigm, said the partnership demonstrated the value of digital distribution in focusing resources on targeted audiences, rather than choosing between a risky wide theatrical release or going direct to DVD. “This type of distribution model creates significant business upsides for all partners: exhibitors will benefit from both increased box office and concession revenues, consumers will benefit from a unique theater experience, and the producing community will get an outlet for programs that wouldn’t normally get a theatrical release,” he said in a statement.

McGurk was named CEO in January 2011. His previous roles include chief executive of Liberty Media’s Overture Films, chief operating officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Universal Pictures, and president of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group.

ARC Entertainment, which was formed in November 2010, specializes in all aspects of studio quality content distributed through an independent system, including theatrical, retail, VOD, and online.

“No one can deny the tremendous value of a theatrical release for independent projects in terms of enhancing awareness and interest in the programs,” said Trevor Drinkwater, CEO of ARC Entertainment in a statement. “Until now, the prohibitively high [prints and advertising costs] associated with a theatrical release has been the barrier.”